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Kia Seltos priced to shake up small SUV market

By Alex Rae, 26 Jul 2019 News

Kia Seltos priced to shake up small SUV market

Kia Australia has announced specifications for its upcoming new small SUV

There’s a new small SUV coming to town and it wants to shake up the establishment.

Kia Australia has announced specifications for the new Seltos which will arrive here later this year, touting some familiar trim grade names seen elsewhere in the Kia stable and hinting at an attractive price that should lure buyers into showrooms.

The Seltos is a small SUV to tackle rivals like Hyundai’s Kona with which it shares the same platform, the Mazda CX-3, and Honda HR-V.

But its dimensional proportions put it almost a size above as boot and interior packaging is capacious.

Read: Compact SUVs get set to take over Australia

It won’t, however, cost any more coin than the equivalent models, and might in fact undercut all its rivals when it arrives despite bringing segment first technology like a large 10.25-inch infotainment screen and ‘Level 2’ autonomous driving aids.

Kia Australia COO, Damien Meredith, says he expects the new four-variant model range to land with driveaway pricing from around $25,000 to just under $40,000 when it goes on sale late this year.

“Our guide to target pricing, we’re looking at $25,000 to $26,000 driveaway for the [S] entry model,” he told media during a review drive of the model in South Korea this week.

Competitors, priced without on-road costs, include the stripped-out Kona Go from $23,500 and $25,500 Active models, Mazda CX-3 auto from $26,650, and Honda HR-V VTI at $24,990, with on-road costs ballooning the price.

Though the Seltos won’t be available in Australia until late 2019, Meredith is ready to shake up the small SUV segment with a car full of gear that’s priced competitively. The top-spec GT-Line which includes equipment such as a heated steering wheel, ventilated and heated seats, Level 2 autonomous traffic follow assist and a sunroof, should also undercut rivals at a price under $40,000 driveaway.

“That’s pretty close to what our targeted pricing is for the GT-Line - under $40,000. We will launch with driveaway pricing,” he said.

The official Seltos model line-up consists of the S, Sport, Sport+ and GT-Line, powered by either a 110kW, 180Nm 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol mated to a CVT, or a perkier 1.6-litre turbo petrol developing 130kW and 265Nm attached to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Models are also available in either front- or all-wheel-drive.

The entry model S comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, reversing camera, rear parking sensors, automated emergency braking with front collision warning, lane keeping assist, cruise control, fabric seats, 8-inch infotainment system and can be cost-optioned with AEB with cyclist detection, adaptive cruise control and electronic park brake. It comes with only the 2.0-litre engine.

The second-tier Sport is also powered by the atmo engine but it gets larger 17-inch alloys, fog lights, steering wheel and gear shifter in faux leather, a big 10.25-inch infotainment system, climate control, automatic demisting and full size spare.

Sport+ can be equipped with the 1.6-litre turbo four and adds the previously optional safety features, and gets electric folding and heated side mirrors, cloth and artificial leather seat trim, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, electrochromatic rear-view mirror, advanced smart cruise control, blind spot detection, front parking sensors, tinted windows, and keyless entry with push button ignition.

Finally, the GT-Line is powered exclusively by the turbo mill and comes further equipped with 18-inch alloys, LED headlights, DRLs and fog lights, artificial leather seats, mood lighting, wireless charging, 7-inch driver’s screen with head up display, automatic wipers, ventilated and heated front seats, LED interior lights, and a sunroof.

Pricing will be announced closer to its on-sale date in the fourth-quarter 2019.